Archive for April, 2008

Samoa converts to RHD

April 25, 2008

On 18 April, a Samoan law was passed that will now make driving on the left with RHD vehicles the proper way to drive on roads. This is good news for Japanese used exporters and importers who just a few years ago were banned from selling non-LHD cars in Samoa. This will be implemented somewhere in mid-2009.

Previously, only LHD vehicles were importable to driven on the right side of roads. This made it difficult to get a car as major markets around Samoa (New Zealand, Australia, and Japan) have cheap used RHD vehicles. Now, Samoans will be able to get more affordable cars.

Additionally to this new law, the government is also considering extend the age limit for importing used cars. Currently a car can be imported at an 8 years maximum age, but the prime mister’s plans would extend it to 12 years old.

This and next few years will bring a significant number of cars traded as people will start to trade in the LHD vehicles for RHD vehicles. Exporters can look forward to 2009.

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Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 2 – JAA

April 23, 2008

JAA Japanese Auto Auction

Official Website: www.jaa.co.jp

Founded: 1971
Number of Auction Sites: 2 throughout Japan
Auctions held each Month: 10-14
Number of Cars Available in 2007: nearly 700,000 (Includes HAA Kobe, part of the JAA group)
Number of Cars Sold in 2007:nearly 365,000 (52.2%)
Locations: JAA Tokyo, JAA Tsukuba, HAA Kobe, JAANET (Satellite), JAAWEB (Internet)

Calling themselves the “Pioneer of The Japanese Automobile Auctions”, JAA is the oldest operating Japanese auto auction group in Japan. The continue to carry a good reputation that allows them to continue to compete. On the negative side, they are know to not have all the technological advancements that the larger, newer auctions have. That being said, they a higher sell completion rate than USS group.

Not many locations, but they are a noticeable part of the non-specialty used passenger car market. If your looking for a everyday car from Japan, the typical Nissan or Toyota car, you should watch their 3 locations.

Related:
Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS Group

New Rules for Importing Vehicles in Iran

April 21, 2008

Iran’s Ministry of Commerce has announced new regulations for import of vehicles as a measure to ensure only the latest models get into the country.

Nourlaw.com reports that the Technical Committee for Vehicles has informed importers that in the current Iranian year (March 21, 2008 to March 20, 2009) following registration and entry of the vehicle through an official customs post the vehicle must not have passed one year since the date of its manufacture if it is a passenger car, two years for trucks and five years for motorized construction and mineral extraction machines.

The new regulations are in accordance with the by-law of the regulations for imported vehicle.

Source: Press TV

Get more information on importing from our Newsletter.

Russian Car Importers Hold Protest

April 17, 2008

Last Tuesday Russian Car Importers held a protest against changes made starting April 1st in Vladivostok, Far East Russia, which have caused huge delays getting imported vehicles cleared.

On April 1, two customs posts – Vladivostok Auto Transport and Vladivostok Central – were combined into one – Vladivostok Commercial Port – by officials intended to smooth the process. In reality, the reshuffle has caused much chaos, delays, and as a result, money lost. Because of the large backlog and daily storage fees of about $20 per a car, auto businessmen acquire considerable lost which are bringing in double and triple digit numbers of cars each day. Ships are even being delayed as they must wait a few days before they can offload their vehicles.

In protest, traders decorated their vehicles with orange ribbons and the slogan “Car Dealers against Bureaucracy” and marched in front the Far Eastern Customs Department. Importers are look for the government to step in, cut, and normalize the clearance time. April may be a sluggish month for Japanese used car exports to Russia. Businessmen are looking forward to getting back to schedule.

Japanese Auto Auction Series Part 1 – USS Group

April 15, 2008

I’ll be trying something new besides the regular news and articles. Each week, hopefully, I’ll be able to post information on one auction establishment in Japan. To start off, we’ll go straight to the top by focusing on the biggest single auction company in Japan, USS Group.

USS Group Japan

Official Website: www.ussnet.co.jp

Number of Auction Sites: 19 throughout Japan
Auctions held each Month: 60-80
Number of Cars Available in 2007: nearly 3 million
Number of Cars Sold in 2007:nearly 1.7 million (57%)
Overall Market Share: 34%
Membership: On-site:41,000; Internet:17,500; Global Network (Sat):6,000

USS Group Auto Auction Site Map

USS stand for Used-car System Solutions. October, 1980 was the month that what became USS Co., Ltd. formed. In August 1982, the first USS auto auction in Nagoya was conducted with 255 vehicles up for bidding. Two hundred and eighty auctioneers participated in this auction coming from throughout Japan.

Over the past few decades, USS Group’s seen huge amounts of growth as they build, acquire, and expand new auction sites to a current of 19 (including 2 recycle auctions). What gave them an advantage to grow into the top position in the market is their development of computer auction software. Allowing others to copy their software, the became immediate market leaders in the technical area.

Besides coming in just before a time of rapid growth in the car auction world, they were able able to capture that growth and increase their reputation through wise business practices. Now they are among the most respectable auctions in Japan. Almost all exporters will carry a USS members ID because mostly of the volume of cars they auction all around Japan.

USS Member\'s ID

Information from USS Group.

Driving On The Right Side… Of The Road Or Car?

April 11, 2008

As many of you may be aware, Japan is a RHD (Right Hand Drive) vehicle country like the UK. According to Wikipedia, about 34% of the world by population drive on the left, and 66% on the right. By roadway distances, about 28% drive on the left, and 72% on the right. To visualize this:

RHD vs. LHD on a World Map

Those in blue are RHD and those in red are LHD. The terms left or right hand drive refer to where the driver sits in the motor vehicle not where the car is on the road. So in the case of Japan, the steering wheel is on the right hand side.

Most markets that are already RHD will find much value in Japanese used vehicles. Areas such as South-East Asia, Oceania, Eastern Africa, and the British Isles are major importers. Because they use the same system as Japan, there are less hassles getting the vehicles imported. But just because a country doesn’t drive the same way as Japan doesn’t mean RHD vehicles can’t be imported.

For example, Russia is officially regulated for LHD traffic, but Japanese RHD cars are the single largest supplier of used cars to Russia. Last year over 440 thousand vehicles where exported from Japan into Russia. Russia is estimated to have more than 1.5 million RHD vehicles on its roads. In the far eastern regions, such as Vladivostok or Khabarovsk, RHD vehicles make up to 90% of the total. Many other LHD nations are also importing RHD in the thousands without any problems such as Canada, UAE, Chile, Mongolia, Cyprus, and Peru.

There are two considerations for importers. First, are RHD vehicles legally able to be imported, and more importantly, driven in your country. Even in the case that RHD autos cannot be used on your roads, many governments allow the vehicle to be modified so that it is switched to LHD.

The second consideration is if you are willing to drive “on the wrong side” or will you be able to sell cars to customers that are RHD. It is not a matter of being a safety hazard if the driver sits on the other side. A Canadian study showed that RHD drivers were more careful, thus less likely to get into accidents, than those who drove like normal.

It is also not about not getting able to feel comfortable driving RHD drive in a LHD nation. Most drivers who experience this challenge are able to overcome the awkwardness of driving differently within the first few hours on the road. The main issues are do you mind standing out a little bit and will it bring to much inconvenience to your lifestyle? For example, you’ll need a passenger to help you through drive-thru’s and at toll booths. If you don’t mind, and you can import, there are plenty of benefits.

Image and Statistics from Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Tianjin, China’s Automobile Imports Increase

April 9, 2008

Xinhuanet reported that, in January and February 2008, 25,400 automobiles have been imported through Tianjin Port, worth 890 million US dollars. China Customs statistics reveal that imports in these two months increased 1.2 times and 1.3 times, respectively, over the same period last year.

Tianjin Port’s automobile import growth is a result of the gradual implementation of the national automobile import policy. In recent years, the Chinese government has promulgated policies related to automobile imports, including import license registration, Administration of Automobile Brand Sales Implementing Procedures, Landed Duty Paid, automobile consumption tax adjustments and tariff adjustments. Along with these implemented policies, policies related to car imports are being implemented, car import policies are stabilizing, and the number of imported cars are growing; new automotive administration procedures will be implemented, according to the Tianjin Customs District.

Source: People’s Daily Online

Japanese Exporters may want to see what is happening over in your neighbor’s land. China has been increasing its consumption at huge rates and more Chinese will be looking for affordable cars soon.

State Worker’s Tax Discounts End In Sri Lanka

April 8, 2008

Sri Lanka has finished a scheme that gave tax-slashed cars to state workers from today and no new applications would be taken, the finance ministry said.

State workers who have been issued tax slashed import permits but have not opened letters of credit before the end of last month (March 31) would not be able to open letters of credit to import vehicles.

However the tax discounts would continue for buying a locally produced or assembled car.

State workers who have already applied and who qualify for the tax concession would be issued a permit to buy locally produced or assembled car, the finance ministry said in a statement.

Earlier reports said around 17,000 state-workers have applied to import tax-slashed cars.

Source-LBO.lk

Vietnamese Prime Minister Goes After Car Imports

April 7, 2008

The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, asked the Vietnamese Ministries of Finance and Industry & Trade to use technical barriers and tariffs to restrict imports of automobiles and automobile components for less than 12-seat cars. Besides the raising of Import Tax done last month, both automobile and automobile components are now on the list of “import-restricted” items.

Attempting to reverse the ever growing trade deficit, the Prime Minister asked that imported goods be classified into three categories: essential, controlled, and restricted. All goods categorized in the controlled and restricted groups will face extra difficulties now.

These technical barriers and tariffs that will be applied include: the raising of import tax rates; limiting the access of importers to foreign currency loans; using technical barriers, etc. Japanese used car exporters should expect a slow down on cars exported to Vietnam when these blockades start coming into effect.

Blog News – Breaking the 100 Barrier

April 4, 2008

Just a small update on the progress. Yesterday, we saw for the first time breaking the 100 Barrier – that is 100 people visiting in one day. While small, it excellent progress as we also passed the 3,000 visits total mark. Because we are serving a niche area, we aren’t planning to be in the top ten blogs, but a place to make people more aware about importing used cars and news in this industry.

As a reader, besides reading this blog (we have an RSS Feed), you can also find information from our sister site JUCE.Info, join our discussion forum JCarsNow.com, and sign-up for the free Newsletter.

Finding Vintage Cars at Japanese Auto Auctions

April 3, 2008

Japanese auto auctions are a great place to buy classics and other vintage models. There are many advantages of buying you dream cars from Japan. As mentioned before, Japanese auto auctions aren’t limited to just Japanese makes, but you are able to also find classics from North America, Europe, and elsewhere. While by far the majority of cars sold at auctions and exported are modern 15 to 5  years old, there are plenty of precious gems that can come around every once in while.

First advantage is the Japanese market. Japanese must continue to keep a car in excellent condition or it won’t be allowed to be driven. Many will sell the prize cars in it best condition to get the most return on it. Also, because car collectors are a small minority,  (A) they usually have good mechanical skills to keep the car in top condition, and (B) the market demand is a lot less than other countries. That translates out to relatively cheap but top quality classy cars for car hunters to find.

Another advantage is, when importing, the deals you find in Japan can stay bargains even after importing costs. While there are some countries that restrict import to less than 5 year old cars, such as countries found in South Asia, there are also many Western nations that make it easier to import top quality classics. For example, many have an age exemption rule for older cars. United States makes it easier for cars over 25 years old, Canada 15 years,  the UK 10 years, Australia has the “1 January, 1989” rule, and New Zealand relaxes the rule for car made before 1990.

Importing can be fun and exciting, especially when you’re importing something you would never have been able to lay your hands on. Japanese auto auctions are quick to use because they are mostly accessible online with quick search engines to find the exact car you’re looking for. You can be a better buyers of classics and not get stuck buying some in your country that is way over priced.

Top Importing Countries in Feburary 08

April 2, 2008
  1. Russia = 40,690
  2. Chile = 10,055
  3. UAE = 7,363
  4. New Zealand = 7,227
  5. Malaysia = 2,564
  6. South Africa = 2,139
  7. Mongolia = 1,759
  8. UK = 1,703
  9. Singapore = 1,646
  10. Cyprus = 1,612

Mongolia has been recently got more hungry for cars. New Zealand is feeling the restriction. Russia remaining as strong as ever. Chile has recently seen a rise of imports being the gateway to South America. Another hubs, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates are keeping steady, if not growing slightly.